Do You Love R.E.M. and/or Sleater-Kinney? Do You Love Rock? You Will Love This Video!

I’ve been obsessing about the new indie supergroup Filthy Friends ever since word came last year that they were becoming a thing. Even without hearing a note, just the idea of combining R.E.M.’s Peter Buck with Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker was pretty thrilling to me and a lot of other indie Rock fans. Backed by R.E.M.’s touring band – bassist Scott McCaughey, drummer Bill Rieflin and guitarist Kurt Bloch – this promised to be pretty exciting stuff.

We’ve been teased by a few dribs and drabs over the past several months, but the waiting is almost over. Filthy Friends will be releasing their debut album Invitation later this month, and to mark the big event they’ve finally released their first official video, for the song “Despierta”, not to be confused with this summer’s pop smash hit “Despacito”, the most-watched YouTube video of all time with over 3 billion views. At this writing “Despierta” has 8,129 views and climbing, so there’s room for growth.

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I love the cheesy, low-budget production values of the video, featuring the band apparently playing in someone’s backyard while three perfectly-cast fans run around trying to find them. But the visuals are neither here nor there because it’s just such a damn good song, so solid, so hooky – “Holding onto the past won’t make it repeat / It’s time to get up I think you’re in my seat”. It’s clearly inspired by current events, but not enough to sound preachy or political. This is top notch Pop/Rock songwriting.

Peter Buck recently told Stereogum that neither he nor Corin Tucker knew how their songwriting partnership would unfold, having never written together before, but that it came together beautifully:

When we started writing originally, it was just a give and take. It wasn’t hard. [Corin] had a great facility for melodies that clicked with the words. We ended up having five or six things that we thought were really good songs and we were like, “Well, maybe we should record it and see what happens.” I think we were aiming at making an album, but you never know if that is going to work, so you start with the writing. When we got to 15 songs, it had seemed like a real record, so we started to think about who was going to mix it, what was on the record, that kind of thing.

Peter Buck’s a guy who never stops working and making music, but I think this partnership with Tucker may turn out to be more fruitful than anything they imagined. We’ll see what happens when the album comes out before I obsess any more about it.

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